This week’s featured hero is none other than my most favorite person on the planet, my incredibly kind, fun, hilarious, brilliant, athletic, musically gifted, ridiculously attractive husband!!! Meet my knight in shining armor: Denny Rodney Duron. I mean, perhaps it isn’t normal to be this level of awe-struck by your spouse, but let me tell you, this guy is anything but normal. (In a good way.) I still catch myself just staring at him creepily in the car, thinking, “Gosh, he’s hot.” I still can’t believe he’s mine. But, he is. (prideful smirk) So, it is my joy to feature this guy on my blog today.
For starters, he was born a “PK” (preacher’s kid) to not only a large family of eight, but to the most significantly instrumental families to my life, as well as to countless other lives, the Durons. Rodney Duron, Denny’s grandfather, planted Shreveport Community Church, which is now pastored by his father, Denny Duron, Sr. Serving our city for multiple generations, this family has made an impact that is nothing short of iconic.
“Growing up, I just remember being proud of my dad and my PawPaw. To me, they were both larger-than-life superheroes.”
In high school, Denny was, of course, a star athlete, and had scholarship offers for both football and baseball. After taking one look at the Pepperdine Campus in Malibu, California, which overlooked the Pacific Ocean, Denny was sold, and accepted a baseball scholarship on the west coast. Baseball was his life, and became his sole pursuit. After a great college career, he played for the Texas Rangers league. He was living his dream.
This dream, however, would one day come to an end. Without a plan B, Denny was crushed. He ended up back at home, lost and discouraged, and unsure of what his future would look like. Baseball had taken first place in his heart for so long. Few people begin pursuing a dream as a four year-old, but baseball is one dream that so many guys pursue literally from early childhood. When a dream like that that comes to an end, what’s next? Well, as Denny’s life exemplifies, God always has a beautiful plan.
“When baseball ended for me, I was honestly crushed, and felt lost. Looking back, I realize that baseball had taken precedence over my relationship with God. It’s no wonder losing that dream rocked me like it did.”
The Turning Point
Back in his hometown of Shreveport, Denny went to work for his dad’s church as the video producer. It would be two years before he would encounter his turning point.
As many turning points do, Denny’s began with a tragedy: the death of his grandfather, Rodney Duron. Pastor Rodney was highly revered in the community that he so faithfully served. His funeral was a profoundly epic and highly attended event. As Denny stood for hours as hundreds lined up to pay homage, something happened in his heart. He was struck by the reality of a life well lived. The influence and faithfulness of his Grandfather, his remarkable relationship with God and his love for the church, hit Denny in a completely new way. Suddenly, he wanted what his PawPaw had.
His heart softened as he sensed the beckoning call of God on his life. Not knowing if he could even be good at this whole ministry thing, Denny recalls saying, “God, I am willing to look like an idiot for you.” And, that’s when the adventure began.
It was during this time that God brought him into my life. Ours is a love story so remarkable that it requires its own post. (Coming soon!) Newly married, Denny stepped into ministry for the first time and became the youth pastor.
As a witness to his very first sermon, I can tell you personally that he didn’t come close to looking like an idiot. It was nothing short of transcendent to see him step into his God-given calling for the first time. He is truly a pastor through and through.
A year later, Denny was given the opportunity to move to Lakeland, Florida to study Ministerial Leadership at Southeastern University and serve as the quarterback coach. Today, Denny is in a season of growth, of preparation, and of continued discovery of his own role in God’s plan. I am getting to see first-hand his relationship with God grow and unfold. I am more proud of him than ever, more in love with him than ever, and I look forward to getting a front row seat to all he will become and do. The sky is the limit for this one, and I am so thankful that I get to be the one to cheer him on every step of the way!